UK Census 2011 data released – See the data in InstantAtlas reports!

The InstantAtlas support team has produced two reports following the recent release of data from the 2011 Census data. Users are able to access the data visualisations in one of two ways. Either you can use a Flash-based version which enables you to see the data in the form of a population pyramid (a configuration of the single map template), or for tablet users the Census data can be viewed in the Single Map HTML5 version.

Select an option below:

Single Map with Population Pyramid
Flash-based version
(Census Report for England, Wales 2011)

View report here –

Single Map
HTML5 version
(Census Report for England, Wales 2011)

View report here –


Hello! Some readers have come back to say that the link is not working on our new HTML 5 template video posting – Sorry about that – Here is a URL for it.



Friday InstantAtlas link of the day – John Patterson (Blackpool Council)'s new blog and IA User Conference 2012 (Rochdale)!

Friday has started out on an amazing high for me. Not only do we have sugar donuts (courtesy of our lovely Sales team) but we have this awesome unsolicited blog post from blogger John Patterson (Blackpool Council).

Did you present at the conference? If so, head over there quick!

Did you go to the conference? If so, you might be in one or two of his pictures.

Do you want to know what happened at the conference? What are you waiting for – go go go! (I’ll wait right here while you do.)

Now that you’ve read his post, did you wish you went the conference? If so, that makes two of us. That’s right, this friendly neighbourhood Support team member was supposed to present after @frenchpeter. And unfortunately, I was very ill that weekend and could not make it. I can only wonder what @Jonopatterson would have made of my presentation….


InstantAtlas Desktop 6.5.0 is released

What is new in InstantAtlas Desktop 6.5.0

We have created a short video overview covering all the latest features including:

The Double Base Layer Template
Pyramid Charts
Dot Plot
Statistics Component
WYSIWYG Designer

We have also provided a complete transcript of the video – please see below.

TRANSCRIPT FROM THE VIDEO OVERVIEW – by Andrea Lischewski – InstantAtlas Support

Welcome to an overview of the key new features of InstantAtlas Desktop version 6.5.0.

First of all, we have a new template, which is free for all who have a software license which covers the Double Map Time Series template. It is called Double Base Layer Template and – as the name suggests – it allows you to create a report where your map contains two base geographies which you can see at the same time. Like in the example I have here, it is very useful to display graduated points over shaded polygons. The shaded polygons show a categoric indicator with the risk level of a particular disease. At the same time you can see in the proportional point symbols the number of cases of this disease for each country where it occurred. Both base layers come with a table, a legend, a bar chart, a pie chart and time series chart. The bar chart and time series chart for the polygon layer are for this example not included. You can link the indicators for both layers by deleting the second Data button and Data Explorer as I did it here in this report. If I now change the data to another disease you can see that the data for the point layer also updates.

There are also several new charts available in the Single Map report. One of which is the Pyramid Chart. You can see it in this example report. It will commonly be used as a way to display population data split up into different age groups and genders. The data needs to be organised in two themes, the first one for Male and the second one for Female. The indicators represent the different age groups and you can have several time periods for each indicator. This Excel workbook is the one I used to create the data.xml file for this report. I included a time animation into the report, so when I click ‘Play’, I can see the development of the population over time for the selected area.

This report summarises the remaining new components. Here on the left I included the Statistics Component which calculates on the fly several statistical values such as the sum, mean, median, min and mix values and so on for the currently selected indicator. If I apply a filter, the values update to only include the areas which are included in the filter. You do not need to supply these values beforehand; the report calculates them automatically for you.

At the bottom of the report you can see the Dot Plot. This new chart shows the distribution of the indicator values around the mean. The grey shaded box shows the range of plus minus half the standard deviation, the whiskers end at the 1 standard deviation mark on each side. At the very left and right you see the dots of the minimum and maximum values. This chart has two modes. The current mode is the distribution mode. It can be changed to the interquartile mode where the grey box will represent the interquartile range, the vertical line in the box will be the median and the whiskers end at the 95th percentile on either side.

If you add Google Maps as background layer to your report, you can now add a Google Search Box which allows the end user to search the map for e.g. postcodes, street names or other places of interest. The search results will always be limited to the area of your base geography.  So in this example, if I typed in Paris, I wouldn’t get any results since there is no Paris in Edinburgh. If I search, however, for Queen I get a whole list of places with the text ‘Queen’ in their name. I can now select the location I was looking for from the list. The map will centre to this location and a red marker will appear. This marker might be hidden behind the base geography so if I toggle that layer off I can see it.

Another new feature of version 6.5.0 is that it is now possible to define different table column labels for each indicator. If I change my data to indicator 2 you will see that the column headers change.  This is set up in the ‘Metadata’ worksheet of your Excel workbook or, – if you use Access – in the respective table.  The MetadataElement is called “alias_” and then either indicator if you wish to change the label of the indicator column or you can use “alias_” and then the name of the associate column that you wish to change the label for. In column D you can then enter your new labels.

In row 5 and 6 you can see two additional new MetadataElements similar to the ones use to change the labels. These start with the word “column_” and allow the administrator to add further column to the data table for a specific indicator. “column_indicator” adds the indicator column and “column_ associate name” adds an associate. In this example it is my associate ‘state’. In column D I entered an alias for both columns. To see the effect I change my data to Indicator 3. The Data Table contains the two additional columns only for this indicator.

All associate columns are from now on numeric by default since most people have numeric data as associates. If your associates are categoric you will need to set the type to be categoric in the ‘Metadata’ worksheet as I have done it here for my ‘state’ associate. New in 6.5.0 is that you can now use the star symbol as a wild card character. This works like a joker symbol so what I entered here in row 2 means that the associate column ‘state’ in all indicators of Theme 1 shall be set to type categoric. This saves me from needing to define this setting for each indicator separately.

I included Towns as a contextual point layer into this report. By default contextual point layers are displayed as little circles. If you don’t like that and you would prefer to see another symbol instead, you can now upload an image file into the Publisher which will be used instead of the circles. When I toggle the town layer on, the towns are displayed as red stars. When installing InstantAtlas it will save a collection of icons in different shapes and colours into your installation folder. You can either use one of these or create your own icons, preferably in PNG-format since this image format support transparency of the background.

Also new in this release is the what-you-see-is-what-you-get Designer – short WYSIWYG Designer. To show you, what that means, I will open the config.xml file of this report in the Designer. Instead of the Wireframe View the Designer opens by default in the Design View. You can see the look and feel of the report while you change positions, size and setting of components which makes designing of your report much more user-friendly.

Last but not least I would like to introduce to you the functionality of including GeoRSS feeds as contextual layers into a dynamic report. This is done in the Publisher where you can add a link to one or more GeoRSS Feeds. The locations of the GeoRSS items will be displayed as contextual points in your map. You can enable labels for this contextual layer to see the title of the GeoRSS items and if you enable tooltips, the content of the content, summary or description attribute will show when you mouse-over the points. You can even make them ‘sticky’ by clicking with your mouse when the tooltip appears. Now it would be possible for me to follow a hyperlink in the description if there was one.

I hope this little video makes you excited to try out all these new features for yourself. If you have any questions about the new 6.5.0 release, please don’t hesitate to contact the Geowise support team on

Community Resources Council, Topeka – Kansas

The Community Resources Council, Topeka is a non-profit community agency founded in 1925. It plays an active part in the growth of Topeka/Shawnee County. From publishing the Community Resources Directory, to working with coalitions to better the quality of life, to publishing & updating the Shawnee County Progress Report, CRC strives to bring government, social services, and businesses together. CRC’s mission is to connect the resources in the community through research, information, advocacy, and collaboration.

Information is therefore at the core of CRC’s activities and in 2009 according to CRC’s executive director Nancy Johnson, there was a growing need to keep up with developments in data presentation. Having seen how Jacksonville Community Council was using data presentation to make its community indicators available in an easy-to-digest format, she decided to try the same approach.

Getting started

Nancy made contact with InstantAtlas and her initial concerns about cost were laid to rest. She became convinced that it was the right data presentation tool for CRC. The board agreed and decided to buy InstantAtlas. Making the entire 2009 CRC Progress Report available online as an interactive report was the first project.

The purpose of The Progress Report is to provide useful information to gauge quality of life in Shawnee County. It provides information to businesses, governments and other organizations to assess the condition of the community. This information is intended to be used by anyone wanting to plan for the future.

The challenge for Nancy was that, as a relatively small organisation with just four members of staff, a great deal of work would be involved. It took longer than anticipated to set up the templates but now they have been created, loading additional data has become very straightforward. Nancy says that feedback from the team at the CRC has certainly been positive.

Read the full story here >>

Other stories that may interest you

Jacksonville Community Council Inc.

“InstantAtlas maps help our community users see where resources need to be targeted to help reduce inequalities”.
Interview with Ben Warner, Deputy Director – JCCI

Read the article

or Listen to Ben Warner’s Webinar with InstantAtlas – click here (streaming video)

Credit –

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)


The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center based at the University of Washington. IHME aspires to make available to the world high-quality information on population health, its determinants, and the performance of health systems. It aims to achieve this directly, by catalyzing the work of others, and by training researchers as well as policymakers.


We spoke to Peter Speyer, Director of Data Development, to find out more about how IHME is using data presentation tools to explain global health trends and highlight areas for intervention.

He explains that IHME mostly uses existing data to develop estimates for health indicators that can be used by policymakers and those involved in the delivery of health services across the world to evaluate the effectiveness of health care systems. “We use a range of indicators and estimates that we believe will help policymakers to make better decisions,” he says.

Read the full article